Dear Microsoft ... From a broken hearted fan (please read)

Microsoft XBOX team, I have owned an XBOX and XBOX 360 since day one, been a member of XBOX Live for 10 years, and have been an evangelist for your company but I am NOT happy with the X1. I love your company and I want the X1 to be successful, so please consider my feedback which I have taken the time to describe in detail: Setting up multiple accounts for a family is ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE.

1. I just wanted to create a quick profile for my wife. She just wanted to try XBOX Fitness to track her calories burned and other workout information. Naturally she wanted this saved under her own profile. That required entering her email and a bunch of other information like her birthday, privacy settings, recovery information, etc. which took about 15 minutes. Way harder and longer than it should have taken ....

2. Later that evening, I wanted to set up a profile for my son. He wanted to try Kinect Rivals and I wanted him to play using his own profile. Creating a profile for him was an ABSOLUTE NIGHTMARE. First it asks for his email - he does not have an email he is four years old. After I entered one of my email accounts for him, it said an email confirmation was sent and that I had to click the link in my email to continue. So I booted up my laptop, signed into my email, and clicked the link, but no matter what I tried nothing happened. It just kept going to a blank page. So I went back through the setup and this time instead of using an existing email account, I ended up creating a new fake one that will never be used through which they force you to use. That took forever because every email alias I tried to enter including completely random or weird combinations said that they were already taken. Finally, I got through to the next step and then it asks for his phone number or alternate email incase his account ever gets hacked. Again, he is 4 years old and doesn't have a phone, so I just entered my phone number. Then I had to enter all the information about him including his birthday, advertising settings, etc.

And finally the most asinine step - I was going to be charged $0.50 to my credit card to create his profile because he was underage. SERIOUSLY!!!!!! At the point I was so frustrated I reluctantly accepted the charge. Then it autogenerated an obscene sounding Gamertag for him so I immediately went to change that. But like the email alias, every Gamertag combination I tried was already taken. I ended up just entering some random letters until it accepted it and let me through. When it finally went to the dashboard for his profile, Kinect Rivals was nowhere to be found. I found it by doing a search in the "Games" area, and when I tried to launch it - it said he was restricted from playing it because he was too young. Seriously, for a family game like Kinect Rivals? What an EPIC waste of an hour. MICROSOFT: creating a profile for your kid should not be this arduous!!!! Also, you SIMPLY MUST abandon Kinect ....

1. The audio detection or microphone doesn't work well. Despite running through the audio configuration several times, I have to say the "xbox" command at least twice for it to even acknowledge me. And when it does, it only has about a 50% chance of correctly identifying what I just said. I know I am not the only one because during all the time I have logged playing BF4 online, you can hear many players repeating commands over and over. It's not uncommon to hear "Xbox Record That, Xbox Record That, Xbox Record That, Never Mind." Just have some of your staff play a few online matches and you can easily verify this.

3. The facial recognition doesn't work well. When first setting up the Kinect, my in-laws were sitting on the coutch to the side of the living room - just barely visible on the screen. Although I was standing directly right in front of the Kinect, several feet away, it placed my gamertag icon above my father-in-laws head. How does this make any sense? I figured out how to tell the Kinect it was looking at the wrong person, but still - this was the first major fail. From using it over the past month, I have had trouble where it occasionally won't sign me in correctly. When I go to configure the Kinect, it has a "Guest" icon above my head and I have to go through the process of reassociating my face with my account by telling the Kinect that it is looking at the wrong person again. Also, my children look like me and it will sometimes sign them in with my profile. When I go to settings, they have my icon above their head and I have the guest icon above my head. When Microsoft was dreaming up the facial recognition auto sign-in feature, did they consider this? Certainly other families will face this issue.

4. The motion detection doesn't work well. I played 'Fighter Within' at my neighbors house and that was a joke, but it could have also been poor programing on UBISOFT's part. However, I also played Kinect Sports Rivals which is a first party title. The motion controls for me were ok, but they were TERRIBLE for one of my sons who is 4. I can post a Youtube video so that you can see the problems first-hand but I can also describe some of the problems. To give your jet-ski gas you squeeze you hand into a fist. Apparently his hands are too small because when he has his hand in a fist, nothing happens. We discovered if he opens his hands and spreads his fingers apart, it will make his jet ski go, but then he can't break. It also has a lot of trouble registering his body movements. This is unacceptable because let's face it - children are the ones who are most likely to play these motion controlled games. And just like the original Kinect, it seems to have the most trouble when trying to register a child's movements! After all of the trouble he had, my wife played the course a few times. After a while her arms got tired and she said it's too bad you can't use the controller. You have a fun, beautiful game on your hands. It reminds me a lot of the excellent game Waverace on the N64 and the Gamecube. Instead of being a showcase game for the X1, the motion controls hamper the experience.

You have a major problem when a non-gamer like my wife, wishes that she (and my son) could use a controller to play the game. 5. It adds too much cost. My wife bought me the system as a gift, otherwise (for the first time) I would have waited for the price to come down. Eliminating the Kinect entirely, or offering an option to buy an X1 without it, would not only substantially reduce the price, but it would also help to lower the barrier to entry. I have many friends on XBOX Live (in their 20's and 30's) who have said they are holding out on buying one until the price comes down significantly. They also indicated they don't care about Kinect's promise of motion controlled games, or audio recognition at all. Hopefully, while they wait, they won't jump ship to Sony. Also, many of your touted new features are just not practical ...

1. Technology barrier is not practical. I had a lot of people visit this past weekend and none of my guests, including my own family members, could simply watch TV. Because there is no video pass-through with the X1 when it is turned off, people can't just turn on the TV and watch cable like normal. Here are some user-case examples: * My in-laws wake up very early and want to watch the news while they drink their coffee. First, it doesn't make sense to them why the console has to be on to watch TV. Second, they said they don't want to turn it on and "mess anything up" or "break it." Typical for older, non-technical people. * My wife doesn't like turning on the console just to watch TV. When it boots to the first screen she is overwhelmed by the options and hates using a game controller to navigate through the menus rather than a remote control. She prefers not to use voice commands because often it fails to correctly interpret what she says, and she has to repeat herself often. She also hates the notifications that pop up while they are watching a show or movie because she finds them distracting.

2. Voice input is not practical. There are many times I find myself navigating using the controller instead of voice commands. For example, when I put my children down for bed, I can't speak loud and clear enough for the Kinect to understand me, in fear that I will wake them up. Also, when you have some friends over and you want to just change the channel for example, it's embarrassing when you have to say "Xbox, Watch ESPN" and then repeat yourself over and over when it doesn't work the first time. Also, if you have a large amount of people over, it has trouble filtering your voice out of the surrounding noise.

3. HDMI pass through is not practical. For the above two reasons, I was forced to move my X1 to a lesser, secondary TV in the basement. Unfortunately, that TV has a basic SD, COAX-only Motorola cable box (from Verizon Fios) because it is not used often. That means that I can not use any of the TV pass-through functionality because there are no HDMI ports on the device. And finally, please rethink your achievement strategy ....

1. You've diminished your achievement system. When Microsoft introduced achievements, it was such a great idea. There were many times in the past when I felt a sense of accomplishment in a game and wished that I could show it off; for example, if I was playing a racing game and had unlocked all the cars, or found all of the heart pieces in a Zelda game. They were "achievements" in every sense of the word. It seemed as though Microsoft understood the dedication and/or hard work of gamers by enabling a way to share that information through their achievement system. Now you can get achievements for anything - being one of the first to own an X1, watching tv, or participating in ads. It really devalues what an XBOX "achievement" really means, and consequently, your whole achievement system. It seems like the employees at Microsoft who truly understand what gaming is about, were replaced by people who don't game at all.

2. (Still) No weighted scale for achievements. Let's face it - some achievements are much harder to get than others. Sony recognized what a great idea achievements were and copied it by implementing the trophy system. Only they created a difficulty scale by placing an emphasis on how hard certain achievements are to earn than others, which makes earning certain achievements more rewarding. Beating Dark Souls on the hardest difficulty shouldn't be worth the same value as petting your first animal in Kinectimals. This is a fictional comparison but similar ones actually exist, and this is a shame. Microsoft needs to borrow the same idea and come up with a way to weigh the importance of achievements. It's so obvious and I was hoping that Microsoft was waiting for the release of the X1 to implement such a system, but alas still nothing. What a shame. For all of these reasons, I have been very disappointed with the X1 so far.

It seems like Microsoft's strategy this generation was to create a high-end entertainment device rather than a game console. And in the process it feels like they have ostracized kids, families, and hardcore gamers alike.


Discussion Info

Last updated July 4, 2018 Views 1 Applies to:

all that work to type it out and the formatting doesnt work?  :-/

Sorry to hear of your disappointment. Best of luck with what you decide to do.

[quote user="PerfectSilence"]

all that work to type it out and the formatting doesnt work?  :-/


went in and fixed the formatting a bit for ya . :)

thanks Deacon

OP.  While I have not had some of the negative experiences as you thus far, I do appreciate where you are claiming from. Hopefully the issues so many are having difficulty with will be fixed soon with updates. I too have been with Xbox since day one and still have faith that it will get to where the majority will be happy.

By the way.  Your comments were well thought out and written well.  Kudos!

As far as achievements go what is the big deal if you get an achievement for watching tv? You gain no gamerscore from it. And the amount of gamerscore given to each achievement is set by developers of the game not microsoft.

thank you WeMustRebel.  I too am hopeful Microsoft can turn things around though software updates.  I'm not concerned about the hardware parity v.s. the PS4 because I believe the difference is negligible.  And if we are to trust Microsoft with their plans for leveraging the cloud and it's almost limitless processing capabilities, we are all in for a treat later this console generation.  Hopefully the current state of things is a byproduct of the rush to launch and things will be ironed out in the near future.  Perhaps the management reorganization at Microsoft will also prove useful.